National Instruments (NI) strengthened its position in the world of embedded design this week, allying its products with two chip makers and an embedded operating system vendor.
NI, a maker of automated test equipment, released a new real-time controller based on a Freescale Semiconductor processor for its CompactRIO platform. CompactRIO, a programmable automation controller, will use the Freescale MPC5200 processor to deliver processing speed, memory and storage to embedded and industrial applications. Such applications include high-speed machine control, machine monitoring, in-vehicle data-logging, and embedded device programming.
The new controller, known as the cRIO-9014, also employs the VxWorks real-time operating system from Wind River Systems. The VxWorks operating system has long been one of the most popular RTOSs in the history of embedded processing.
National Instruments engineers said the new platform will continue to be targeted at applications involving single-board computers, programmable logic controllers (PLCs), and custom hardware designs. The CompactRIO system, which makes heavy use of field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), is said to simplify software integration in embedded projects.
“With an FPGA, we get the same capability as custom designs, but in a lot less times,” noted Dr. James Truchard, founder of NI.
At this week’s show, National Instruments also announced that it is rolling out LabView Embedded Module for Analog Devices’ Blackfin processor. LabView is a graphical programming language for data acquisition, instrument control, and industrial automation. The new release, NI’s second for the Blackfin processor, is known as Labview Embedded Module for ADI Blackfin Processors 2.0.